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Tuesday, January 11, 2005
UH HAMILTON LIBRARY PARTIALLY REOPENS
Semester hours for the Hamilton Library addition:
» Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
McBride, who was one of the first staff members to respond when floodwaters tore through parts of the library, commended faculty and staff members for their continued hard work.
"I feel happy. We've come so far in such a short time," she said. "It's been a surreal experience."
The Hamilton Library Addition (Phase III), which houses the science and technology book collection, periodicals, study areas and computers, opened to students yesterday. Its book collection represents a third of the library's entire collection. But Phases I and II remain closed to students.
Phase III of the library was built three years ago and was not affected by the flood. But it was closed to students for two months to dry out materials from the main part of the library and to serve as office space for displaced library staff members.
The library's partial opening also means there is plenty more work to be done. The floods caused between $80 million to $100 million in damage to the Manoa campus. And work at Hamilton is far from done.
The flood destroyed a large part of the library's rare map and government document collection kept in the basement.
Six international preservation specialists are expected to help librarians restore maps and photographs that were salvaged by staff members, University Librarian Diane Perushek said.
"What we'd like to do is start digitizing a lot of our unique materials," she said, "so that the next time there is a flood -- heaven forbid that should happen -- we'll have a backup."
So far, the entire library has been dried out, and the main entrance has been re-tiled. The basement was cleaned out, and all the linoleum and plaster from the walls were removed to prevent mold growth.
Lights powered by generators are situated throughout the library. Dehumidifiers are still being used to prevent mold.
Students who work in the library walked up and down the concrete stairway yesterday carrying flashlights and stacks of books requested by other students.
Two large generators that were brought in from the mainland will soon be tested before they are hooked up to the main library. "We hope we'll have generator power for the entire library by the end of next month," Perushek said. Still, it is unknown when the main part of Hamilton Library will reopen.
"It's still day to day," said McBride.